Isaac Brings Rainy Relief to Kentucky Farms

Western Kentucky remains in extreme to exceptional drought.

Published on: Sep 10, 2012

As the remnant of what was Hurricane Isaac eased over Kentucky, it brought much-needed drought relief to the state's hard hit farmland.

Rain totaled 1.25 inches to 2 inches, about half-inch more than normal for a week this time of year. Temperatures remained above normal, averaging 78 degrees across the state.

"Western portions of Kentucky saw an average of about 2 inches, which was highly beneficial as they still remain in extreme to exceptional drought conditions. In addition, Kentucky did see an end to our 3 week stretch of near to below normal temperatures as the state ended the week 4 degrees above normal," said Tom Priddy, Kentucky's state climatologist, in a Kentucky Agricultural Statistics Service report.

Isaac Brings Rainy Relief to Kentucky Farms
Isaac Brings Rainy Relief to Kentucky Farms

Topsoil moisture was rated 27% very short, 37% short, 34% adequate and 2% surplus. Subsoil moisture was rated 37% very short, 39% short, 23% adequate and 1% surplus, according to the Kentucky Agricultural Statistics Service.

The corn crop was rated as 45% very poor, 35% poor, 14% fair, 5% good and 1% excellent. Almost all of the corn reached the dent stage. Thirty-seven percent has been harvested, compared with last year's 5 percent and the five-year average of 11 percent.

Most soybeans were setting pods last week. Half the crop now is considered in fair to good condition.

Set tobacco condition was rated at 7% very poor, 13% poor, 29% fair, 39% good, and 12% excellent. There have been random reports of black shank in the fields. Burley tobacco topped was 83%, compared with to 91% this time last year.

Thirty-four percent of the burley tobacco has been cut, compared to 45% this time last year. Housed tobacco condition was rated at 60% good to excellent. Of the tobacco which has been housed, 8% shows evidence of houseburn.

The rain was very beneficial, but more precipitation is needed to restore the pastures with more than 60% still in poor to very poor condition.